LCF Sister Cities to Celebrate 5th Anniversary

Photo courtesy LCF Sister Cities
LCF Sister Cities Board and Leadership Team, pictured at the organization’s early 2020 annual meeting, included (front row, from left) Sheri Morton, Katherine Loevinger, Vicki Schwartz, Gina Ricci, Pam Knapp, Diane Moldafsky, Stephanie Kambe and Ellen Portantino. Back: Gabriela Mendham, Grace Wang, Don Voss, Mary Serles, Melissa Mazin and Elysa Del Guercio.

The La Cañada Flintridge Sister Cities Association will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, holding true to its mission to foster understanding among the citizens of our community and other cultures of the world. The organization will showcase its many achievements at its annual meeting on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. and invites the community to participate by becoming a member and by participating in the virtual gathering. The annual meeting is open to the public at no charge, but advance registration is required.
This organization has numerous successes over its short tenure, including 27 international student exchanges; a multi-school youth group; the launch of the International Space Academy; a Sister Cities agreement with Villañueva de la Cañada, a suburb of Madrid, Spain; student participation in Sister Cities International Youth Leadership Summit; and a thriving membership and volunteer program. As a result, La Cañada Flintridge Sister Cities received an “Innovation in Youth and Education” award from Sister Cities International in 2020.
“Our organization has grown tremendously over the past five years,” stated President Vicki Schwartz. “Even in 2020, when international exchanges were unable to take place, we fulfilled our mission through a pen pal program between our youth group and the students in Spain and a virtual joint City Council meeting between the councils of La Cañada Flintridge and that of Villañueva de la Canada. It’s through the cooperation and partnership with the city of La Cañada Flintridge, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and our local schools that we have been able to foster these amazing relationships and provide opportunities to our young people. Many community groups have supported us as well, particularly Kiwanis, Descanso Gardens and the Community Center.”
The Fifth Anniversary Virtual Celebration and 2021 annual meeting will be hosted by local residents Michael Gross and Elza Bergeron and will feature a retrospective of the organization’s accomplishments since its founding in April 2016. Featured speakers will include Mayor Michael Davitt, State Sen. Anthony Portantino and Mayor Partida of Villañueva de la Cañada as well as student ambassadors past and present. The event will also feature special vocal performances and a Spanish wine and cheese tasting.
To become a member, visit lcfsistercities.org. Those who renew an existing membership or who complete a first-time membership by Feb. 21 are invited to enjoy a delectable array of Spanish treats courtesy of Lisa Esteban of Gil Family Estates and the La Cañada Cheese Shop as a gift. This special thank-you gift will be available for contact-free drive-thru pick-up from 1-3 p.m. at the La Cañada Thursday Club, where members will enjoy musical entertainment by Spanish guitarist George Avanasian. Members are invited to enjoy the special gifts during the virtual meeting, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Members and community guests must register for the meeting in advance.
Questions about membership and the meeting can be directed to lcfsistercities@gmail.com.

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